38 Dalai Lama Quotes to Zen You Out

Tenzin Gyatso is the 14th Dalai Lama, that is, the spiritual and political leader of Tibet.

A photo of the Dalai Lama. He is probably in his sixties. He is dressed like a Tibetan monk in orange robes and wears glasses. He is smiling as he speaks.

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”

-Dalai

(Photo: Luca Galuzzi/CCBYSA2.5)

“Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.”

Dalai Lama

“Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.”

Dalai Lama

“I laughed and laughed. Sometimes people are too serious.”

Dalai Lama
The Dalai Lama and another man, also in his sixties. They are sitting on a couch and laughing. The Dalai wears his monk robes, the other man is in a European blue suit.

The Dalai Lama with Italian politician Marco Pannella. (Photo: Mihai Romanciuc/CCBYSA2.0)

“Wherever I go, I always smile.”

Dalai Lama

“I try to treat whoever I meet as an old friend. This gives me a genuine feeling of happiness.”

Dalai Lama

“There isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.”

Dalai Lama
The Dalai hugs a man.

“We all have to live together, so we might as well live together happily.”

-Dalai

(Photo: U.S. Institute of Peace/CCBY2.0)

“If you can, help others; if you cannot do that, at least do not harm them.”

Dalai Lama

“Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.”

Dalai Lama

“Whenever we see a problem, our first reaction is to ask how to tackle this by force. That’s totally wrong.”

Dalai Lama
A close-up of the Dalai. He is from Eastern Asia. His head is shaved. His face is oval-shaped, he has small, bushy eyebrows; small, dark, lively eyes; a smallish, broad nose, a small mouth. He is smiling and wearing his monk robes.

“Violence is mutual destruction.”

-Dalai

(Photo: Christopher Michel/CCBY2.0)

“One nation cannot eliminate the rest of the nations who are not very friendly with it. Whether we like it or not, we have to live side by side -that’s the reality.”

Dalai Lama

“Disagreement is something normal.”

Dalai Lama

“Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways.”

Dalai Lama
The Dalai and another man that has come to greet him. They are shaking hands and the Dalai has bowed down to touch the other man's hand with his forehead in a gesture of humbleness and/or respect.

(Photo: U.S. Institute of Peace/CCBY2.0)

“My commitment is to try to promote peace of mind among seven billion beings, to offer compassion.”

Dalai Lama

“If I create more enemies I will suffer. If I create more friends I will benefit.”

Dalai Lama

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.”

Dalai Lama
The Dalai with his typical monk robes. He has his usual joyful expression that radiates warmth and the usual twinkle in his eye. His hands are in a gesture of prayer.

“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.”

-Dalai

(Photo: Christopher Michel/CCBY2.0)

“The goal is not to be better than the other man but your previous self.”

Dalai Lama

“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”

Dalai Lama

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”

Dalai Lama

“My main practice is altruism.”

Dalai Lama
The Dalai and Desmond Tutu. They are sitting on couches on a stage. They are both laughing earnestly. Desmond wears a European dark suit.

“I have totally dedicated my life to bringing about a closer understanding among our different religious traditions.”

-Dalai

The Dalai with South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu. (Photo: Carey Linde/CCBYSA3.0)

“I have full confidence that religious harmony is possible.” 

Dalai Lama

“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.”

Dalai Lama

“Without money you cannot do things. Money is important.”

Dalai Lama
The Dalai has his hands in prayer. A woman has clasped his hands in hers. The Dalai has lowered his head and is resting his head in the clasped hands in a warm, loving gesture.

(Photo: Pankaj Mistry/CCBY2.0)

“[Money and things can] provide physical, not mental comfort.”

Dalai Lama

“Money can bring friends, but they are essentially friends of money not of you yourself.”

Dalai Lama

“In order to become prosperous, a person must initially work very hard, so he or she has to sacrifice a lot of leisure time.”

Dalai Lama
A very young Dalai. He is a child. He is very formally, sitting on something like a throne. He is wearing elegant and elaborate Tibetan clothes.

“Later I realized that my position [as the Dalai Lama] was something useful to others. Nowadays I feel happy that I’m Dalai Lama.”

-Dalai

The Dalai Lama in 1944, when he was about 9 years old.
(Photo: Wikimedia/Public domain)

“I, too, face some danger of people praising me too much. Then, at that time, you must tell yourself, ‘You are a humble follower of Buddha.’ That’s very important.”

Dalai Lama

“I love freedom and I enjoy India’s freedom. Indian freedom over 60 years has spoilt me (laughs).”

Dalai Lama

“All human life is some part failure and some part achievement.”

Dalai Lama
The Dalai on his sixties or seventies. Black and white picture. He is about to get into a car and looks playfully, with a smile, at the camera. He always looks full of joy.

“It is important to know your own weaknesses. Then you can improve.”

-Dalai

(Photo: Christopher Michel/CCBY2.0)

“Modern education is oriented towards material wealth. So, when people face anger, hatred, fear, or jealousy, they do not know how to tackle it. India must revive ancient knowledge through analytic meditation to reduce destructive emotion, and increase constructive emotion.”

Dalai Lama

“A healthy mind is very important for a healthy body.”

Dalai Lama

“When you are discontent, you always want more, more, more. Your desire can never be satisfied. But when you practice contentment, you can say to yourself, ‘Oh yes – I already have everything that I really need.'”

Dalai Lama
The Dalai and another man on a stage. The other man, too, is wearing traditional clothes, but they are probably European. Both men are bowing down in a sign of respect for each other. Both have their hands in prayer.

(Photo: Christopher Michel/CCBY2.0)

What is your favorite quote by the Dalai Lama?

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2021-05-17
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